Q How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
Some medical malpractice cases are harder to determine than others, and not every negative medical outcome signifies a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is important to remember that doctors are trained medical professionals, but they are not magicians. They can only treat you to the best of their knowledge and ability and meet a certain standard of care. If a certain negative outcome was absolutely unavoidable, that is not their fault—it's just the way the universe works. However, if they acted in a way that was negligent and if they did not provide the customary standard of care, that's when you may have a medical malpractice case.
If you think you may have a medical malpractice case, consider these facts that you need to be able to prove in a court of law:
- You hired the doctor and created a doctor-patient relationship with him. The “hiring” portion of this requirement can be indirect: if, for example, you were treated by a physician during an emergency room visit at the hospital, you have “hired” that doctor. If the doctor is a family friend who gave you some offhand medical advice at a cookout, you did not have a doctor-patient relationship with him.
- The doctor treated you in a way that was negligent. As we said above, if the doctor did not meet a certain standard of care, he could be considered negligent. The best way to prove this in court is to bring in a medical expert from your doctor's field of medicine to testify that the way your doctor acted was not the way a physician would normally act in that same situation.
- Your injury and the resulting damages were caused by the doctor's negligence. If you think a doctor acted negligently, but you weren't hurt in any way, you do not have a case: you have no basis to claim compensation if no harm was done. A death or injury must have occurred for your claim to be viable. Also, you have to be able to prove that the injury was directly caused by the doctor's negligence. This can be hard to prove in some situations; again, this is where a medical professional's testimony comes in handy.
If you think you have a medical malpractice case, call 860-445-8521 to contact the Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers at the Bartinik Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation.